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The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime | 1952 (USA)
A new crime wave grips the city and all clues seem to lead to the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, even though he has been imprisoned in a mental asylum for nearly a decade.

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Writers:

(characters), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gustav Diessl ...
Rudolf Schündler ...
Oskar Höcker ...
Theo Lingen ...
Camilla Spira ...
Paul Henckels ...
Lithograph / Litographer
...
Theodor Loos ...
Dr. Kramm
Hadrian Maria Netto ...
Nicolai Griforiew (as Hadrian M. Netto)
Paul Bernd ...
Erpresser / Blackmailer
Henry Pleß ...
Bulle
Adolf E. Licho ...
Dr. Hauser
Oscar Beregi Sr. ...
Prof. Dr. Baum (as Oscar Beregi)
Wera Liessem ...
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Storyline

Berlin police inspector Lohmann investigates a case, in which all clues lead to a man, who's in a hospital for mental illnesses for since many years - Dr. Mabuse. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fritz Lang's Meisterwerk. Der Gewaltigste Film der Gegenwart. (Fritz Lang's masterpiece. The most tremendous film of the present.)

Genres:

Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Crimes of Dr. Mabuse  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fritz Lang, who was fluent in French, simultaneously shot a French-language version under the title "Le Testament du Docteur Mabuse." The German cast members who were not fluent in French were replaced with French-speaking actors. Rudolf Klein-Rogge had his dialog replaced with an early form of dubbing. See more »

Goofs

Hofmeister supposedly scratches Mabuse's name in a window pane of his apartment with a ring, but Hofmeister is not wearing any rings when Division 2-B enter his apartment. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Inspector Lohmann: "Magic Fire Music," old man.
[whistles]
Inspector Lohmann: You know that one, Müller? That's from "Die Walküre". Those are the girls who carry dead police inspectors directly up to heaven from the Alexanderplatz with a "Hey ho." On horseback.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jönssonligan & den svarta diamanten (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Walküre (The Valkyries)
(1856) (uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
Portion hummed by Klaus Pohl
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two crowded hours
17 January 2006 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This film's a thriller, a detective story, a ghost story; it has romantic and comic sub-plots, a striking array of sets, some of the first convincing special effects ever used, echoes of other films; and it is not hard to find in it political relevance to today. It's a lot to cram into two hours, and one has to work to follow every twist of the plot, but it is both a rewarding and entertaining experience.

The film draws on an exceptionally wide variety of cinematic styles. There are expressionist moments, and these are particularly striking, but they account for only two or three minutes out of a running time of 120. There are moments when one could almost be in a screwball comedy. And there are moments which come close to social realism – it would be interesting to know whether the patients at the mental hospital played themselves. The dominant mode, though, is an anticipation of film noir.

I would, though, counsel against investing too much historical hindsight in this film – yes, Fritz Lang did go into exile from the Nazis – but it is more the shadow of Weimar than the shadow of Hitler that hovers in the background here.

Not perfect; not an absolute masterpiece: but an occasionally stunning and always stimulating film, which deserves 9 out of 10.


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